As we plod along on the parenting treadmill, it can be easy to believe we are the only ones experiencing the daily highs and lows of raising little ones.
With babies it can be particularly easy to fall into the trap. You have blinkers on in those early weeks – particularly as you’re not going out as much as you did pre-baby.
You’re tired, you’re overwhelmed and you feel like you are doing absolutely everything wrong.
You think it’s just you who is finding this so very hard. You think it’s just you who cries after discovering a cold cup of tea you forgot to drink.
That feeling is made worse when you unlock your phone during the 100th feed of the night to see all of your fellow mum friend’s pictures in which they look happy, energetic and clean.
You cannot recall the last time you laughed. You barely had enough energy to brush your teeth this morning. You cannot remember the last time you washed your hair.
That feeling of being all alone in this parenting gig continues as time goes on.
You wonder if it’s just your baby who still refuses to sleep through the night at age one.
You wonder if it’s just your toddler who won’t eat a bite of their vegetables.
You wonder if it’s only you who is left mortified after yet another epic meltdown in the sweeties aisle of Tesco.
It’s easy to assume we are unique, because you are up close and personal to the full-on hell that is raising your little kids.
Playgroup Paula has three children, and yet she manages to bake fresh bread every week, makes impeccably iced cakes, works a full-time job and always looks flawless in her daily Facebook update.
Why are you the only one who can’t wear a top
The thing is though, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
The truth of the matter is that everyone finds parenting hard, because everyone is dealing with exactly the same shit as you are.
Turn up to any parenting group filled with fellow parents and you will find survivors swapping tales of the apocalypse that was last night’s bedtime.
Mention that your toddler has just been through a phase of dropping their pants and peeing wherever they stand, you can bet a fellow mum has witnessed similar potty training-related mayhem in her house too.
So the next time you are feeling all alone and think that YOU alone are getting everything wrong, remember this:
All parents going through same traumas as you.
No one has it together.
We all have tough days – ones where we don’t know how to cope with our kids.
We all feel alone sometimes.
While the faces and places may look a little different, the shit we are dealing with is like looking in a mirror.